Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Next Best Thing

Wondering for the next killer app, the next breakthrough. Gazing through crystal ball for whether Microsoft will still be there in future and world would still use the same computer languages (Only if "computers" exist then)

Let me take a guess. First one observation. Please look at the keywords "computer languages". Why is it a language? It is an expression of desire from a user to be fulfilled by the machine.

What model current industry follows is that through market research or direct customer interaction and various inputs from resources people develop a software for a user.

The programmer made it as a "source code" i.e. human readable instructions which aim to achieve a goal. Now the typical software would encompass all the scenarios, environments, situations that a user can present and various actions it can do with the software and make the software according to that. So the user has no control.

If user wants to modify or change the software then he/she has to either get it recompiled or developer has provided options, menus, configuration files which will change softwares behaviour. What Free Software Foundation thought that it should be completely FREE and open to change. FSF though has brought a large shift in computing industry (in some other unintented ways) but it did not become the killer app.

What future requires is expression of thought and desire of the human. It can be in GUI by which I dont have to type may be i could write by just waving my hands in air or some wierdo thing. It can be in terms of logic programming where programmer only tells what is to be done not how. It can be a break through in GUI wherein I dont have to write in a linear fashion within a box.

We have studied generations of computers but not generations of users. Nowadays users have become sophisticated. You can expect some level of familiarity with computers. As Alvin Toffler envisioned in Third Wave we would be having prosumer. The line between a producer who creates a product for a consumer and they interact through an entity/interface known as market would blurr. Soon people would be programming themselves.

Now here take a word of caution. They would not be writing complex piece of software in C, Java or some other shit then compiling it and loading them but then software itself would be highly configurable and better languages would develop to express user's desire

In our technical jargons and mumbo jumbo we have forgot that computers are means to an end not the end in themselves.

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